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Survey launched into technical college idea

Mon 30 July 2012, 5:11 pm

Young people in Medway are being asked to get involved with a survey on establishing a University Technical College in Medway.

The survey has been launched by the board behind the bid, which is led by the University of Greenwich with MidKent College and Medway Council.

It hopes to use the feedback if any future rounds of applications for UTC status are announced. 

An initial bid for a UTC specialising in engineering and construction was submitted to the Department for Education earlier this year, but, despite positive feedback, the college for 14- to 19-year olds did not get the go ahead. 

Offering a range of practical courses and qualifications including GCSEs, A levels, BTECs and NVQs, the UTC would offer hands-on training and academic study, led by the University of Greenwich and local employers. 

The idea is also supported by the Royal School of Military Engineering and major employers including BAE Systems, Delphi Diesel Systems, BAM Construct UK and Land Securities, which would also offer teenagers a range of training and work experience. 

The council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, Les Wicks, said: “Medway has a rich history of construction and engineering and we believe that a college specialising in these subjects will both continue this tradition, and give young people an opportunity to succeed, learning a trade and skills that will give them a head start in the jobs market. 

Professor Alan Reed, director of regional development at the Medway Campus of the University of Greenwich, and chair of the Medway UTC board, said: "This survey is about going out to young people and families in Medway and gathering as much feedback as we can so we can not only re-evaluate the options we're considering but also be ready to go should any future rounds for UTC applications be announced in the near future.” 

Sue McLeod, acting principal at MidKent College, said: “We believe Medway’s economy would benefit greatly from having a UTC but we need as much information as possible to ensure we are truly representing the views of the local community.”

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